Ohio adds 24 player in 2014 recruiting class
QB Duckworth, OL Lowery rated highest among recruits
By Lonnie McMillan / Contributor
Wednesday, February 05, 2014
ATHENS – Ohio added 24 players in its 2014 football recruiting class on Wednesday.
The class includes 21 freshmen and three junior college athletes. Among them are 16 players from Ohio, players from seven other states and one from Canada.
“I think this will probably prove out to be a very good class,” Ohio coach Frank Solich said. “I think that the last two have been exceptional. I know we had a lot of first time players on campus play for us this season and get a lot of good experience. I think this is a similar type class in that we have a lot of guys playing from this class. A lot of these guys are already physically mature and mentally mature and that’s always good.”
The class is heavy on cornerbacks with five and wide receivers with four. It also includes five offensive linemen. Among the other players committed are two defensive linemen, two linebackers, a quarterback, two running backs, two tight ends and a punter.
The three junior college players come in at positions where the Bobcats seem to have an immediate need. Tight end Brennan Boland, punter Mitch Bonnstetter and corner back Brett Layton all should be in the mix for immediate playing time.
Among Ohio’s recruits, the only two to receive three-star ratings by ESPN, Scout, Rivals and 247 Sports are quarterback Joey Duckworth and offensive lineman Joe Lowery.
Offensive lineman Jared McCray earned a three-star rating from all but Rivals, which gave that rating level to only the Bobcats’ top two recruits. Wide receiver Robbie Walker was the fourth Ohio player to receive three stars from ESPN.
247Sports added tight end Connor Brown as a three-star addition to the Bobcats, while Scout rated offensive lineman Brennan Dudziak, cornerback Curtis Brunson and linebacker Jared Brumfield as three-star players. Scout also gave a three-star rating to kicker Pierce Royster, who did not sign with the Bobcats but is expected to either grayshirt or begin as a preferred walk-on.
Solich said he expects early contributions from a number of players in the class.
“As I look at the tape and visit these guys at their schools, at their homes, you see how well physically they are put together and how strong of a class this is going to be in terms of guys that have a strong background in education and are going to be strong students,” he said. “Those are the kind of guys that are able to handle it when they come on campus and play early.”
For the second time, wide receiver Chris Murray and defensive tackle Trae Clark committed to the Bobcats but did not qualify academically and could not sign. They will spend another year in junior college.
Ohio’s recruiting class came together much sooner than in past seasons, with 12 players committed to the Bobcats by the time this past season began.
“Part of that reason was that we were able to get them on campus in the spring time and the summer time unofficially with their parents to see what we had,” recruiting coordinator Brian Haines said. “You can see the locker room, you can see the indoor facility and there are things for them to look at. As far as improvements, and the fact that we’ve been to five straight bowl games, it’s huge. It’s a winning program.”